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Theater & Parkinson's: Creating Theater with People with Neurological Disorders

  • DoubleTree Hotel by Hilton 1000 NE Multnomah St, Portland, OR 97232 (map)

This is a participatory workshop designed for People Living With Parkinson's or other neurological or neuromuscular disorders, and their partners, and for Theater Professionals and others in the community interested in creating new performance

Instructor:  Anna Kapousizi

During our stay in Portland for the World Parkinson Congress, The Poise Project will host a very special experimental theater workshop led by Anna Kapousizi, the 2016-17 Fulbright Artist Scholar from Athens, Greece.

Anna has been working for the past six years with MDA HELLAS, the Muscular Dystrophy Association of Greece, in creating unique projects with people with neuromuscular and neurological conditions.

Kapousizi's workshop is for PLWP, or other neurological or neuromuscular disorders, and their partners, as well as local able-bodied actors and theater professionals and others in the community interested to learn and to share unique theater exercises she uses to create original works. At the end of the workshop, the group will present a short performance based on work generated in exercises done all together during the workshop.

Exercises that will be used are inspired by acting methods of Stanislavski, Artaud, Meyerhold and Grotowski.

828-254-3102 or



Experimental Theater Workshop with Annita Capousizi

Anna Kapousizi with some of the MDA Hellas acting group of ARTimeleia Theater (April 2016)

Anna Kapousizi with some of the MDA Hellas acting group of ARTimeleia Theater (April 2016)

Anna writes:

"Theater has always been a means of bringing people together, pointing out a society’s particular characteristics, getting us all involved. It is the most direct way you can bring a society into awareness, and it has the potential to engage people at every aspect of social involvement. Theater should have this as an essential characteristic of its purpose.

Although, we have moved a long way from discrimination of many kinds, we still think there are some things that not all people can do. That’s because we tend to believe that some things, like acting, can be done only in one way. My work proves that wrong."

Production Photo from "Exemplar Murders" (Athens 2013)

Production Photo from "Exemplar Murders" (Athens 2013)

"Although some people might still say there are different ‘schools’ of acting methods, we may conclude by now that there is a clear line that runs through the acting methods, from Stanislavski and the more ‘psychological’ acting methods, to Grotowski and the more ‘somatic’ ones, with Meyerhold, Brecht and Artaud as significant stops on this course. In these methods, the actual body and voice of the actor became the center of acting procedure and brought us to new forms of theater and the development of the art of performance itself.

Can a non-abled body be considered a body ‘in performance’? Can it use a course of exercises, adapted to its possibilities, with an artistic result different than what we are used to, but fully and utterly artistically ‘competitive’? Can the undeniable social aspect of theater accept society in its wholeness?" 

Reherasal Photo: Using text from "Electra" to generate scenes for the play "Fragile About the Myth of Atreides" (Athens 2016) (Actress: Eva Lambara)

Reherasal Photo: Using text from "Electra" to generate scenes for the play "Fragile About the Myth of Atreides" (Athens 2016) (Actress: Eva Lambara)



ANNA KAPOUSIZI is the 2016-2017 Fulbright Artist Scholar from Greece. From September 2016 - March 2017, Annita will be resident at the Carolinas Healthcare System Neurosciences Institute RENEW Carolinas program in Charlotte NC, leading actor training workshops in experimental theater techniques for People Living With Parkinson's. She will be collaborating with The Poise Project Executive Director, Monika Gross, who will be assisting her by using Alexander principles- which do not begin with a fixed definition of correct physical or vocal form - as a powerful means of creating an open and creative environment in the rehearsal room and on stage where actors of all physical abilities can meet. 

Anna has a BA in Greek Philology, Diploma in Acting, and MA in Theatre Studies. She works as an actress, director, and dramatist. For the past six years she has taught theater for MDA HELLAS, the central Greek institute for people with neuromuscular disorders, with whom she has directed numerous experimental productions in Athens, most recently "Fragile" in June 2016.

Working with people with ‘body limits’ Anna has developed a process under which specific acting methods are used in a transformative way within the neurological limits of the disorders.

Anna is a member of the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab and participated in the 2014 residency. 


THE POISE PROJECT is an independent nonprofit organization with the mission of maintaining natural poise throughout all stages and challenges of life through the principles of Alexander technique (AT). We have brought a team to Portland for the 4th World Parkinson's Congress to advocate for Alexander technique for managing symptoms of Parkinson's disease. We are hosting an exhibit booth, answering questions, offering interactive demonstrations, presenting highlights from ongoing research ranging from reduction of motor symptoms to improvements in sleep, mood and quality of life, and offering public workshops.

Learn more about our "AT for Parkinson's" initiative:

Please support us with your donation! You are making it possible for Alexander-based skills to become a daily resource of support for the Parkinson's community.